Express Action in India

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Bob Dylan

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And its Seabiscuit by a Nose!

And we just think the Summer consists of the Canadian are Long! How'd you like to walk that train???!!
 
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jis

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Rajdhanis with 20 or 21 is the max. There are other expresses that carry 24 and a few these days that even go upto 26 I am told.

But there are about half a dozen effectively daily trains between Delhi and Kolkata that are each 20 cars or more AFAICT.
 

caravanman

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Yep, if you are at the wrong end of the platform when your train pulls in, it 'aint going to be a restful start to your trip. Trust me!

Ed.
 

jis

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Someone managed to capture all 19 Rajdhani Expresses at speed and present them in a single video.... Here it is:


Observe the extreme standardization of equipment. These trains connect the national capital to each state capital, so they operate all over India, and yet the equipment is completely standard and interchangeable.

Also observe the ubiquity of electrification in India. There are just a couple of remaining diesel trains among these, and as you see in one, even those routes are getting electrified rapidly.

BTW HOG stands for Head On Generation (hotel power provided by the Locomotive), as opposed to EOG - End On Generation (hotel power provided by Generator Car)
 
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jis

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Some more express action this time on Eastern Railway on one of the earliest segments of Main Line of India. This segment went into service before the Mutiny of 1857 or the first Battle for Independence, depending on ones perspective.

It was electrified in the 1950s using a 3kV DC system. The catenary installed then was left in place while replacing the power supply and installing higher voltage insulators, when it was converted to 25kV AC in the 1960s. So what you see is the original 3kV installation duly modified for 25kV.

 
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jis

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I hadn't realized that the rails were that old in India (not surprised, just somehow hadn't).
First Broad Gauge service ran on 16th April 1853 from Bombay to Thane (GIPR). By 1857 the then East Indian Railway Main Line (now what is known as the Sahibganj Loop) from Calcutta had reached almost half way to Delhi, and service on the first segment of that started in 1854. So over 500 miles of railway on that one route was put in service in less than four years. The newly built station in Ara (near Patna the capital of Bihar today), was sieged for a while by the "mutineers" and many of the British who had retreated to that defensible structure were killed there before the siege was lifted by troops arriving from Calcutta. Interestingly, the continued construction of the railways was slowed down only slightly by the events of 1857.
 
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Cool, thank you! So if I were snarky I would say that India thought it a good idea to have England build and pay for those new-fangled railway things and then boot them out (which took a bit longer than anticipated).

One historical note that I find interesting is that how war, despite it's all encompassing reputation, doesn't really always seem to slow down every day life (or perhaps a better way of saying it is that everyday life manages to keep going, at least up to a point). At least in many cases, especially when battles are fought remote from population.
 

jis

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Actually it was investors in the Railway Companies, which included rich folks from both England and India, that funded the initial construction of the railways. It is quite a fascinating history. The primary reason they were built was to support the expansion of the enterprise of the East India Company before 1857 and the Crown after 1857 and support the logistics of managing it. The original bits of IR were all built by private companies mainly interested in extracting wealth from India to transfer it to England (well actually the rich in England and India). After they were progressively nationalized as the fat cats lost the stomach for the risks, it became the Crown's problem to continue to fund. They continued to do so because literally they could not control and manage India without the railways.

The reason UK left India is because the War (WW II) bankrupted them and they simply did not have the means to carry on as before, and because the US used the War as a means to deprive the European powers of their colonies to advance their own agenda. On their way out they (UK) unilaterally cancelled (with the connivance of the U,S since the US did not want to see Silver bullion prices destabilized if the amount owed were actually transferred in the form of Silver - the Brits did not have it available in their vaults anyway. They were broke) outstanding war debts to India of many hundreds of millions of pounds. But that is way beyond the scope of this group.

The Indian Railways angle on that is that many hundreds of miles of trackage were torn up in India to provide materials for building railroads in the middle east and Southest Asia to support the war effort. Rolling stock was commandeered and shipped out where it was deemed necessary never to be returned. Indian Railways really struggled mightily immediately after the War even to keep every day freight movement going to carry essential like grains and coal and such. Recovery was slow and gained steam only after independence.
 

gswager

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Thanks Jis about the reason for the independence of India. I was wondering about that since so many colonies were given up during that era.
 

jis

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Not high speed action but intense action at Bally on the approach to Kolkata’s Howrah Station from the Eastern Railway side (Northern India including both Northeast and Northwest). Howrah’s other feed (3 soon to become 4 tracks) is from Southeastern Railway (from the South and West India) which is separate from this feed.


Another one at the same spot. The line above is a connection to Kolkata’s other giant terminal station Sealdah on the Kolkata (east) bank of the river.

 
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